In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “can you cook raw meat in sauce” with an in-depth analysis of the general ways and steps followed while cooking meat directly into the sauce. Moreover, we are also going to highlight the differences between meat directly cooked in sauce and meat that is pretreated in terms of texture and timing.
Can you cook raw meat in sauce?
Yes, you can cook raw meat in sauce as the cooking of raw meat in sauce can add a specific and infused taste and flavor to the base of the product. It is relatively a slow process that results in a soft and tender meat enriched with the taste of flavorings added in the sauce. The thickness of the sauce should be maintained to allow the sauce to be reused for cooking some other products.
Cooking in Liquid:
To cook the raw meats in liquid, care should be taken in cooking the temperature to a safe internal temperature that will both remove the health hazards as well as maintain the texture of the food. The liquid used as a base is called the meat stock and the meat cooked in liquid is called the parboiled.
Jus (translated as “with juice”) is a perfect and easy way to intensify the piquancy of your meat-based dishes by using the own juice of meat to prepare a flavorful sauce.
Ways to cook meat in sauce:
Raw meat can be cooked in sauce in three ways: simmering, stewing and poaching. All the three ways involve heating or cooking the meat in liquid but the temperature may vary slightly from one method to the other.
This cooking method involves heating of the liquid or sauce just below the boiling point. Small bubbles come out of the surface at this temperature continuously. The whole cuts of meat are flipped in the liquid when cooked at the temperature below the boiling point of liquid.
Stewing is similar to stewing with just a little difference in the size of the meat cuts. The meat should be cut small in this type of cooking and uniform pieces should be totally immersed in liquid and cooked slowly through simmering.
Poaching is another method of cooking raw meats in liquid and has been known as a traditional way of cooking meat that has been obtained from tender cuts. In this method, meat cuts are directly placed into the sauce without any pre-heat treatment, such as baking or frying.
This process may result in the dish with more infused and tender meat due to the absorption of more water as compared to the absorption in meat with a hard or already crispy surface due to preheating treatment.
General steps to follow:
- Prepare the sauce by adding some vegetables or condiments such as small herbs, chopped onions, and flavorings or seasonings and heat the sauce to boiling temperature.
- Once the sauce is cooked, add meat cuts into it and cook it for 4-6 hours by using any of the three ways mentioned above.
- Cover the saucepan or pot containing both sauce and meat with a lid during cooking and uncover the pot for the last 30 minutes to thicken the sauce if needed.
Raw meat cooked in sauce vs. Pretreated meat in the sauce:
Sometimes, meat is pretreated with any heat treatment before adding into the sauce, such as fried or browned, which is an additional step taken to enhance the flavor or maintain a certain texture of the product. While on the other hand, cooking directly into the sauce is an easy method without any extra time needed.
But, one can also get the same or even more delicate and soft meat cuts through an easier method by just placing the meat directly into the sauce. Moreover, this may reduce the cooking time by eliminating an additional step that also needs some effort.
The texture of meat:
When the meat is directly placed in sauce, the water or liquid tends to move from outside to the inside of the meat making the texture of the meat more tender. The slow cooking in liquid also allows the minimum shrinkage of proteins present in meat. The meat juice will also move out of the meat and infused in the sauce giving the liquid a unique and delicious flavor and aroma.
You can read about different types of meat here.
Certain microorganisms are present in the raw meat that require specific heat treatment to be deactivated and killed. We also know that there is a risk of contamination when cooked and an uncooked food come in contact with each other.
Therefore, one may think that the raw meat may contaminate the sauce but this is not true. It is fine to add the raw meat in the sauce that is continuously in a gently heating state. As long as the sauce is heating steadily, the heat can constantly transfer from the exterior to the interior of meat thus, allowing the alleviation of microbes completely from the dish.
One of the most important things to be considered is to cook the meat to a safe internal level of temperature. As we know that certain microbes reside in meat that can be killed at an appropriate temperature, that is 140°F to 165°F for meat products, including eggs, pork, turkey, poultry, and beef etc.
Moreover, if the meat is not cooked at the appropriate temperature, undercooked meat will give a ruined or spoiled aroma and flavor on consumption and overcooked meat will be more tender that will make the flavor of the product bland. Therefore, the temperature should be checked properly while cooking by using a thermometer.
In this brief guide, we answered the question “can you cook raw meat in sauce” with an in-depth analysis of the ways used for cooking raw meat in the sauce. Moreover, we also discussed how one should be careful in dealing with products through maintaining safety measures while cooking with this method.